A conversation with Mr. James Bird author behind "The Brave"







I wonder if there is any book lover thriving out there without the knowledge of "The brave". A coming of age story of a Native American boy struggling with his OCD. A wonderful middle grade novel of a troubled boy exploring himself and coming in terms with his own difficulties. Meeting with his mother whom he didn't know of before and mostly being brave.






Click on the cover to find the book on Amazon.


Personally the concept of this book is a charmer for me. In this world of hardships at schools the seemingly normal often are extreme for the special kids. The ones who are made fun of, laughed at and ridiculed. when I came to know about the novel I wanted to talk to Mr. Bird and so I dropped a message to him. Much to my delight did I receive a text back. So here lies my little conversation with the Screen-writer, Director, author and animal lover.





Abhigyan:

Hey, Mr. Bird seems like "The Brave" is in the air. I cannot open Instagram without not reading the praises of your book. So tell us something about your book which is not visible through the blurb.


James says...

Something about the book… Let's see… Well, like Collin, I am half Ojibwe and had my share of learning disabilities growing up. I was told a million times there was something wrong with me, but in the end, they were all wrong. I learned that being different isn’t a bad thing. It’s awesome. And I hope when people read my book, they’ll see that in their own life. I hope they embrace being different. I hope they begin to see that their brain doesn’t need to be fixed. Maybe they have a gift the world needs to see.


Abhigyan:

I have been trying to get a hold on to your book but no success yet, so that made me explore all the things your readers have to say. I understand it is a story of a little boy who is a prisoner to his OCD, being unable to blend in with his peers and then expulsion from multiple schools? Tell us how you came up with this Interesting subject.


James says...

When I was growing up, the teachers wanted me to learn the way the other students learned, but my mind had other plans. I would constantly dissect words and play with the letters. I would use all the letters to make new words, new sentences, and put them all together to form a story. And I’m so glad I didn’t listen to everyone when they told me that there is something wrong with me because now I am telling stories and doing what I love. My main character has a different way of learning, and I want people to know that there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I want them to know that they are special and unique.


Abhigyan:

I know that you have roots in Ojibwe, so does that signify Collin's mother being one too, some childhood imageries reflected over time I presume?


James says...

Yes, I grew up in California, with my Ojibwa mom. I never met my dad. All I know is he was white. In my book, my character gets to return to the Ojibwe people in Minnesota so he can learn all about his culture. Writing this book was a way to show people what I experienced.


Abhigyan:

It already has been so much time without asking so I am gonna go for it, Tell me about The wolf. I can not sum up the level of cuteness of the little guy. I would love to know the story of how this cute little guy came to be known as "The Wolf”.





James says...

Wolf just turned 2 years old this week. My mother called me bird ever since I was a baby. And when my wife got pregnant, I called our little one Wolf the entire time. When he was born, it was just a natural name for him. He is the wolf.







Abhigyan:

I know that your Love for the creatures is not limited to The wolf, The pup, and the cat. Being an animal lover as you are, tell me which beast of the wilderness you would like to bring to your home if permitted?






James says...

My number one love is animals. I have 3 cats, 1 dog, 1 pot-bellied pig, and right now we are raising a family of turkeys in our back yard. I am watching the 2 babies grow up and I see how great the parents are. If more people see what I see every day, I think fewer people would eat animals.






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Abhigyan:

Coming back to Collin and his experiences, do you think the schools and other educational authorities should handle children with special needs with more acceptance and less reprimand? Or are they right in their so-called expulsion which they think will do the child more good?


James says...

I think in many ways we need to rethink how we teach kids. There are so many different ways of learning and I believe we need to focus on each kid individually. I was failed many times and received awful grades, but that’s just because I learned differently that how they taught. Life’s best teachers aren’t in the classroom. They are staring at you in the mirror. They are animals. They are parents, friends, and strangers, and sometimes they are dreams.


Abhigyan:

Schools can be a matter of survival, so much so that even normal children find it difficult to cope, can the kids with special needs find sanctuary in that environment?


James says...

I found sanctuary in books, music, and movies. Schools will always be hard. The most important way to cope is to find friends that make you feel safe and supported.


Abhigyan:

I can almost see it in my mind's eye, Collin fumbling over a branch of a tree and Orlenda coming to the rescue, Colourful wings stretched out and flying with a magical rhythm. Do you remember any friend of yours who made your childhood a brighter place?


James says...

I’ve had some really good friends in my life, but my greatest friends were animals. They don’t lie, judge, or forget about you. They are one hundred percent honest and love you for who you really are. Humans are great sometimes, but I prefer to stick with the animals.


Abhigyan:

A writer, a director, a film-maker, an author what more milestones do you see scratched out on your list of dreams in the coming years?


James says...

My dream is to open an animal sanctuary one day. Rescue all the animals that need our help. My film We Are Boats is the very first 100% cruelty-free film ever made. That means no animals were harmed, worn, or eaten during the entire production.


Abhigyan:

what do you have to say to those brave souls, who dare their way through life, a life which never seems easy to them? Children the same as Collin may be cared for, maybe neglected. How do you give them hope and tell them to continue being brave to win the battle called Life?


James says...

I’d remind them that no one was put on this earth to stop them, so the only ones who can stop you are yourself. Be different. Be weird. Be awkward. Be strange. But most importantly Be Brave.


Abhigyan:

That is definitely the kind of motivation we need in our lives. Be different, be weird, be awkward, be strange but also be brave. With this kind of motivation I know the hindrances dragging behind our back will lose their shackles and let us walk in peace for once? But if not they will teach us to be brave so that we can unshackle us ourselves.


It was an absolute pleasure talking to you Mr. James and also about your wonderful book which I think is gonna hit the charts real hard, that is to say if it hasn't really done that yet. which I guess it pretty much has. Also I want to thank you for talking to me about wolf and his habitat, wishing him a blissful second year ahead. Hope to be talking to you soon about the other books you have mentioned before.

Connect with Mr. James Bird on his Instagram handle @jamesbirdbooks

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